Postgame wrap

News, notes and observations following the Raiders’ 20-19 win over the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field:

— What an incredible roller coaster ride of a game.

The fluctuation in quality of play under Tom Cable is remarkable. The Raiders can look error-prone and amateurish one week and positively heroic seven days later. Cable used the word “spectacular” in describing his team’s defense, and it wasn’t hyperbole.

From holding the Broncos to a pair of field goals on their first two drives, to keeping them out of the end zone after Kyle Orton’s 63-yard pass to Brandon Stokely, to Michael Huff’s magnificent breakup of an Orton pass to Brandon Marshall on the second-to-last play, the Raiders played _ dare I say it _ championship level defense.

Very few missed tackles. Tight coverage. Just one really big mistake on the Stokely play. Tommy Kelly played so hard he lost his pants. Knowshon Moreno looks unstoppable on the first two drives _ I had him pegged at that point for at least 125 yards _ and ends up with 49 yards. He had 39 yards rushing after three possessions.

— The bottom line is JaMarcus Russell is largely responsible for his plight this season, but still, when Michael Bush dropped a sure first-down pass on one of his first series, you wonder if the guy can catch a break.

Yes, he missed an open Louis Murphy on a key third-down throw. But he got off the deck after giving way to J.P. Losman after being knocked out for a play and delivered a 10-yard strike for a first down, and led a game-winning drive against a division rival.

Russell didn’t gloat following a win in the same way he doesn’t seem to gnash his teeth over a loss.

“I always say everybody is going to have their opinion. As long as my teammates have faith, and I have faith in those guys,” Russell said. `There’s always going to be tough times. It’s how you come up from behind and fight those tough times off.”

Russell’s teammates seemed genuinely happy for him.

“I don’t think words can explain,” tackle Mario Henderson said. “He’s the No. 1 overall draft pick. He’s been hearing it from Day 1. For him to come in and do what he did today was amazing. One thing we did was step up behind him. We didn’t abandon him . . . the thing he showed us today is he was ready for the chance, he came back out strong and helped us when we needed it.”

Said tight end Tony Stewart: “The man has been freaking dragged through the mud and people have been taking shots at him and the man has just been standing tall. He has a lot of growing up to do but when it came time he stepped up and did the job.”

— Cable’s response about the quarterback for next week against Cleveland: “We’ll have to sort through the bodies on the way home and decide. Charlie was playing really well before he got knocked out. If he’s ready to go he’ll play. If not, we’ll go with JaMarcus but it’s too early to tell.”

It’s worth noting Cable didn’t go overboard and limit what Russell did to his final drive.

“He missed a couple throws that could have changed it earlier, but what he did was he stayed in tehre and got it and I think that’s the part we should all be excited about,” Cable said. “They put some rush to it there at the end and brought a cople guys and were under some pressure, especially when we crossed midfield. But once we got down there I thought he handled it pretty well. He got some protection and was able to make a play.”

— Frye was well enough following his concussion to talk to reporters after the game.

“My buddy from Cleveland, Andra Davis, came up the middle and got me pretty good and my head hit the ground,” Frye said. “This league is obviously putting a lot of emphasis on head injuries and with good reason. Obviously it worked out. JaMarcus came in and played great and Chaz caught the touchdown. You couldn’t have written a better script.”

— Bush, the only back to gain 100 yards in a game this season for the Raiders, also became the second, gaining 133 yards on 18 carries and leading a season-best 241-yard rushing performance. Darren McFadden had 74 yards on 12 carries _ the second-highest total of his career. Bush had 23-yard touchdown run (getting a huge block from Langston Walker) and a 40-yard run.

Both runners were stone-walled near the end zone, however, and McFadden lost a fumble, a mistake that looked as if it would cost the Raiders the game.

Justin Fargas left the game early after “tweaking” a knee.

“Let’s face it, everybody would be happy to to have what we have here (at the running back position),” Cable said. “If you were anywhere else and you only had Mike or Darren . . . fortunately wehave two more running backs you can run to. Those guys block i pretty well, run it hard and it was a good day.”

It was deja vu for Bush, who recalled last year’s 177-yard effort in the season finale at Tampa Bay.

“A game like this reminds me of last year,” Bush said. “In Tampa, the guys went down last year and I stepped in, same thing as today. Fargas went down a little bit and we needed someone else to pick up the slack. that is why you need a stable of backs like we have.”

— Denver coach Josh McDaniels conceded that settling with field goals on their first two red zone opportunities _ leading 6-0 instead of 14-0 _ played a huge role. He didn’t help matters by calling a Kyle Orton quarterack sneak which came up way short and a gadget pass to eligible tackle Ryan Clady on the next series which was correctly diagnosed by Asomugha.

“All year, we’ve kind of let teams hang around, and we’ve been fortunate enough to win most of those games,” Orton said. “You do it long enough and you don’t put teams away, and it comes back to bite you like it did today.”

— Frye and tight end Brandon Myers didn’t finish the game with concussions. Fargas, Cable said, possibly could have continued if the Raiders needed an “emergency” runner. Chris Johnson sprained an ankle.

“He was able to play some and then he had to come out,” Cable said.

— The Raiders used tackle Erik Pears as an extra blocker in some sets.

— The game was delayed at one point as officials directed law enforcement to try and find someone shining a laser light into the face of Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall. There were a few scuffles as tempers were both on short sides.

In other words, an old-style AFC West game worthy of tradition.

“Pretty fun,” Cable said. “I’ll bet you all counted us out, too.”


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • r8dr4lfe21

    Al got rid of them to rub it int he face of Kiffin he wanted Wilson, and Huff.

  • That’s right, Spain did tell Bush to pound sand when he asked them to join him in the crime of the century. Good for Spain.

  • Charlie

    Mr Davis has routinely drafted Olineman and Dlineman in the first and second round. Since 2000 we have only done it with Gallery and Grove. A huge departure from traditional (pre 2000) Raider drafts.
    We will get back to it since it is the last piece of the puzzle.We will also avoid high priced free agents.
    Huge changes since Cable got involved and more are on the way. (Getting Seymour was just the start of the line focus).
    We can go on and on about how it got this way but Lombardi had alot to do with it.

  • Vegas Raider, you have admit that the scene where Paul Rodriguez thinks the answering machine is Jesus talking to him, while he’s watching the Playboy channel, is a f’n riot.

  • raideredoutL.A.

    build the lines in ’10

  • raideredoutL.A.

    get me a beer

  • spellcheck

    No Real Moron …I was speaking of the rebels and terrorists in their own country….try and keep up.

  • Charlie, routinely? Since Gallery, who? And who does Al plan to draft next year, to protect the tiny WCO QBs we know Al loves?

  • r8dr4lfe21

    Sorry i ment Wilson, and Hall.

  • Spain was taken over by rebels and terrorists? I didn’t know that.

  • spellcheck

    If Cable isn’t fired and isn’t forced out of the ZBS the Raiders won’t spend any draft picks on O linemen in the 1st few rounds….Cable made it clear when he was hired that effective ZBS linemen can be had thru free agency and later rounds in the draft.

  • spellcheck

    I sure you wouldn’t you’re still working on a simple grasp of football

  • VanHeathen

    Nice Win Yesterday,
    Defense showed up big time,
    Cable saved his job, Frye looked like a backup, as did JR. same mistakes, still not very accurate, nearly fumbled away game, again…
    Bush and Dmac need to be the primary backs.
    Grads is still the BEST QB on this team right now, and into next year.
    JR’s problems are not going to be fixed in one off season, especially if he’s on the ‘tussin and Partyin’ on Friday nites instead of watching film…

  • LOL. OK, good answer, spellcheck.

  • Spellcheck

    Was it me or someone else who embarrassed you out of your last moniker?

  • morilla

    that was great, I don’t care how they did it.

    -good to see Bush getting his carries and lighting it up. That needs to continue.

    – good to see Dmac poke his head out and say hello. Still issues with his game. Fumbilitis and cutting to the inside on the 4th a goal try, WTF?! You are supposed to be a speadster, head for the pylon. You have already proven you are not a hitter.

    – And as for JaRuss, he still scares the sh-t out of me. Too slow for a nfl QB. Needs to cut 20lbs and work with a conditioning coach. And his accuracy still blows.

  • new englandraider

    hey spellcheck. instead of correcting people on typos, you ought to go back and read some of your previous posts. u dont know when to use your/you’re. i’ll give u a 4th grade grammar lesson. your is a possesive term. your ugly wife. your studid comments. get it? then we’ve got the contraction you’re. i.e. you’re an idiot. you’re a jacka$$. you’re not the one who should be questioning what people sound like when they speak. do u sound like miss teen south carolina when u speak?

  • Correction: Russell saved Cable’s job.

  • new englandraider

    hey just as i posted that, u correctly used you’re. GOOD JOB

  • DMAC

    If Cable wins one more game this season should he stay?????????

  • El Tato

    I live in Spain, no rebels here.

    There are terrorist in the Basque Country, Spain. They want to be independent from Spain and thats not going to happen. I live in the Basque Country, but the terrorist obviously not, they are in South America and France and they just come to put a bomb or killing somebody (once every 2 years)

  • DKnight007

    Charlie Says:
    December 21st, 2009 at 12:09 pm
    Mr Davis has routinely drafted Olineman and Dlineman in the first and second round. Since 2000 we have only done it with Gallery and Grove. A huge departure from traditional (pre 2000) Raider drafts.
    We will get back to it since it is the last piece of the puzzle.We will also avoid high priced free agents.
    Huge changes since Cable got involved and more are on the way. (Getting Seymour was just the start of the line focus).
    We can go on and on about how it got this way but Lombardi had alot to do with it.

    When I look at the draft, if the Raiders get a 5-7 pick and if Suh falls to #3….they should seriously consider trading up for him.

    Cut Warren…..restructure down Kellys contract and either tag Seymour or sign him to a 4 year deal. If they tag him and a team offers him a big deal and Raiders don’t match they get two 1st rounders.

    Suh will be the next Seymour….IF not better! Suh is lighter and quicker than Seymour and probably stronger.

  • Anyone who doesn’t know who spellcheck is has to be new here. He’s in here today because it’s raining in Placerville and he can’t leave his trailer.

  • raideredoutL.A.

    surprised mitchell didn’t get flagged for shoving orton’s head down after hitting him on a blitz, knew yesterday was going to be a good game, we’ve played well in den the past 3yrs.

  • Spellcheck

    How many times have you been forced to change your handle?

    Would you like to release some of your previous failures?

  • Obama needs to stand up to the right wing terrorists right here in America.

  • new englandraider

    rmr, i not new but i dont know who speelcheck is. is it the genital?

  • spellcheck

    Well New England we all know what you sound like….a typical North Eastener with a turd stuck under his tongue…go shovel yah Cah outta da snow.

  • new englandraider

    notice the speelcheck, i dont have spellcheck

  • new englandraider

    dont gotta shovel car out of the snow. got a garage and a plow jackass

  • spellcheck…,how many norcos today…, glasses of wine.., what time’s dave picking you up in the RV?

  • Oh, and “Bri en” is bound to pop up, too. Wow, why can’t you even type Bri en? Who were those guys? They are uber banned. Can’t even type their name.

  • SpellChick

    Why so pathetic? Mommy didn’t love you?

  • new englandraider

    spell check u seem to have a problem with where people r from. where u from. probably a town where the men are men and the sheep are nervous. what’s the #1 rated tv show where ur at. TOUCHED BY AN UNCLE?

  • spellcheck

    come on you can do better than that.

  • New England Raider, tell “spellcheck” to pull his trailer further away from the American River, before it swallows him, and all of his norco and wine.

  • What time’s Dave picking you up today, spellcheck? And why aren’t you asking for Br ien?

  • raideredoutL.A.

    who’s are rb coach? need to stress ball security to dmac and bush. bush was fumbling with no one around him on the flat, got a lucky bounce on a fumble to henderson and well… dmac, what was it 3 lost fumbles to denver this yr. alone?

  • spellcheck

    FoolKell you really overplay that psuedo psychology routine.

  • # KoolKell Says:
    December 21st, 2009 at 12:24 pm


    Why so pathetic? Mommy didn’t love you?


    It’s not that she didn’t love him. It’s just that she threw him in a trash can after he was born and he found his way home.

  • spellcheck

    wow stooping to Joe Dirt now….try and be a little creative

  • Well, it got silly in here. I think it’s because everyone knows that Frye is going to get his spleen broken with this offensive line protecting him. See y’all later. Heading to Warriors game..,Dave picking me up in the R.V…, some herbs and wine…,

  • raideredoutL.A.

    i thought that jp foschi guy was one of those players that can only play for the raiders but turns out he can play, had 7 catches yesterday.

  • El Tato

    He was a FB for us, Foschi was a TE in College and is playing TE with Cincy, thats why he can play

  • raideredoutL.A.

    that and he has a good qb, that has a good o-line as well

  • El Tato

    that and he has a good qb, that has a good o-line as well


    yeah, I guess thats important too

  • raideredoutL.A.

    next week should be entertaining to say the least.

  • DKnight007

    The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    December 21st, 2009 at 12:10 pm
    Vegas Raider, you have admit that the scene where Paul Rodriguez thinks the answering machine is Jesus talking to him, while he’s watching the Playboy channel, is a f’n riot.

    Rodriguez made the movie! LOL

  • raideredoutL.A.

    hope we can spoil the ravens playoff hopes in a couple weeks.

  • raideredoutL.A.

    dame una cerveza!